The labor movement will be tested in the coming years, but our path forward is clear. We all understand the importance of solidarity, but what is equally important is an understanding and mutual respect for one another. Politicians will seek to divide us, but we can fight back by educating ourselves about the issues affecting each of our unions and resolving to stand together.
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Whether the issue is trade, prevailing wage, immigration, pensions, charter schools, or minimum wage, the only way forward will be to stand together, not only for the things that matter to our individual unions, but for the things that matter to all our brothers and sisters throughout the labor movement.
It’s hard to believe that in 2016, we are still fighting to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. It’s time to put this issue behind us and get with the times, and we urge our legislators to continue pushing for the override of the governor’s veto of the pay equity bill, A-1444.
Though the vote on pay equity was postponed, the Assembly did vote in favor of two pro-worker bills yesterday. Below is a summary of those actions:
With the holidays fast approaching, we wanted to send well wishes to our union family and thank you for all you do to keep the labor movement strong. We are grateful for your hard work and dedication to advancing our shared goals. We believe that through our collective strength and solidarity we can surmount whatever challenges come our way.
The fight to fund pensions saw a victory today with the Governor doing the right thing by signing the quarterly pension payments bill into law despite vetoing it twice before. The law requires pension payments on a quarterly basis, allowing for increased investment returns and minimizing the risk of reduced payments at the end of the fiscal year. We recognize the diligent efforts of affiliates and elected officials who were essential to bringing this law to fruition.
In addition, many bills of concern to working families moved through committee today during a busy day at the Statehouse. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO lobbied and took positions on several bills. Below is a summary of legislation and corresponding committee actions:
During a Statehouse press conference, New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan called on legislators to override the governor’s veto of pay equity legislation (S-992) and resolve to end pay discrimination once and for all.
Recognizing Senate President Sweeney, Majority Leader Weinberg, Assemblywoman Lampitt and the bill’s prime sponsors, she described the measure as commonsense and long-overdue.
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The New Jersey State AFL-CIO looks forward to welcoming all of our union sisters to the 14th Annual Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference that will take place at the Hilton East Brunswick from March 3-4, 2017. This year’s conference will offer new and enlightening insights into building leadership skills, women’s labor history, and the fight for our economic future. This year in particular will feature prominent speakers on the subjects of organizing and leadership.
Legislation is advancing in the Senate and Assembly that would crackdown on out-of-network health insurance charges, saving more than $1 billion every year for consumers, businesses, and taxpayers. CLICK HERE to send a message, urging your legislators to support this bill.
Thanksgiving is the time of year that we join together with our family and friends to share a hearty meal and appreciate the important things in life. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our union family for all the work that you do. Our labor movement will always have battles to fight, but it is because of your dedication and persistence that we continue to forge forward.
The legislature is taking steps to shore up the state pension system, approving a bill that would require the state to make quarterly, rather than annual pension payments. The bill (S-2810/A-4) passed both the state Senate and Assembly unanimously and has been sent to the governor’s desk for approval. Christie vetoed this measure twice before, but the Senate President is optimistic about the bill’s prospects. With the bill now on the governor’s desk, we urge that him to take swift action and sign it into law. Quarterly payments would be scheduled for Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31, and June 30. The law would take effect on July 1, 2017.
S-2810 is scheduled for a vote on Monday, November 21, 2016. The bill requires the state to make quarterly, rather than annual pension payments. The effect of this change would be to save the pension system and taxpayers billions of dollars over the long run.
CLICK HERE to urge your Senator to support responsible pension funding.